Robots In Disguise

Sam loved his car. Really, he did. But there were certain … things … about having a car that could drive itself around. Things that could get on the nerves.

"I just wanna know where he went," Sam groaned to his girlfriend, standing in the empty parking space where he had left his Camaro when he got to school.

This didn't happen too often. Sam suspected Bumblebee often left his parking space, but the Camaro usually returned before the end of classes. Still, like a terrible instinct, Sam inevitably freaked out when he discovered his car wasn't where he expected it. Even knowing that – and having fought alongside – the Autonomous Robotic Organism that was his Camaro, a little part of him always went oh my god my car's been stolen. Maybe it was post-traumatic stress from the first time Bumblebee had driven himself off in the middle of the night.

"You know, he's got to be somewhere on the school grounds," Mikaela pointed out. "How is he going to get past the truant officer without a driver?"

It was a valid question. Students weren't allowed to leave the school grounds during hours without a note from the office, and a security guard was posted at the school's entrance to prevent that exact thing. "You're right," Sam said. "You know what, you're totally right. So he'll be here any second now." Unless there was an emergency and Bumblebee had just bolted. "… We really need to get him an e-mail address or something."

"Sam, look!" Mikaela grabbed Sam's arm and pointed towards the school's entrance.

There was the yellow and black Camaro, idling next to the truant officer; the officer was peering inside the Autobot.

"Oh, no," Sam groaned. "Oh, no no no!" He gripped his head. "How am I going to—what?"

The truant officer was laughing. He said something, tipped his hat, and backed away. Bumblebee drove up into the school grounds, honking once at Sam and Mikaela.

"What just happened?" Sam asked Mikaela. His girlfriend just shook her head, tipping her head to the side and shrugging slightly.

The Camaro came to a stop in front of the couple. The driver's side window rolled down.

"Hey, hot stuff," said the twenty-something hot blonde chick in the driver's seat.

Sam's jaw fell open – not at the appearance of the driver, although that was stunning too (her blond hair was long and volumous, her bare arms were flawless and tan, and her boobs were just – seriously, they had to be fake), but the fact that there was a driver in Bumblebee at all. "Uh … uh, hi," he stammered.

Mikaela stomped on his foot. Sam yelped. "Hey, I'm sorry to be rude, but I'm just wondering why you're driving, um, my boyfriend's car," Mikaela said flatly.

The blonde chick beamed at Mikaela, showing off perfect white teeth.

And flickered.

"It's amazing," the hologram said, now in Bumblebee's dipping, mechanical voice, "just how much humans are influenced by appearance. The law enforcement officer at your school wouldn't let me by until I adopted this holotech."

"Yeah, well, I can see why," Sam said, earning him a light shove from Mikaela. "What, what? It's a holo—it's Bumblebee!" he protested, flinging his arms at the Autobot.

Bumblebee laughed. It sounded like a second engine under his hood had suddenly revved. Mikaela rolled her eyes and started around Bumblebee's hood to the passenger side. "Boys," she said.

Bumblebee obligingly opened his door just before Mikaela could touch the handle. "Sit in my lap, babe?" asked a radio-distorted voice.

"And you're just as bad as Sam," Mikaela snapped.

"I cannot help it if all your humor is sexual in nature," answered the car, his hologram disappearing as he opened the door for Sam as well; Sam climbed in, feeling a little weird about sitting where a fake hot blond chick had been before. Hopefully the truant officer didn't notice how the Camaro's driver had just disappeared into thin air. "Where to?"

Mikaela looked over at Sam. "The bookstore," she said.

"What? Why?" Sam asked, blinking.

"There's a book I wanna pick up," Mikaela said breezily.


Bumblebee took the opportunity to grab a quick recharge while the humans were in the bookstore. He would be up most of the night since Optimus was asking for his presence at their temporary base for some voice maintenance as they discussed how to bring the Ark and Teletraan-1 down to Earth. He was therefore roused with a startled honk when Mikaela slapped a book down on his windshield. "Sam's job for the next week is to read this to you," she said.

Clean Jokes for Dirty Minds, said the cover of the book.

Bumblebee laughed aloud.